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Sunday, May 16, 2004

Hokutoriki takes sole lead at 7-0

The Associated Press

Grand champion Asashoryu was back in business on Saturday with a convincing win over Takamisakari, while Hokutoriki moved into sole possession of the lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

News photo
Sekiwake Wakanosato pulls down No. 2 maegashira Asasekiryu on Saturday, the seventh day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu, who saw his 35-bout winning streak come to an end on Friday with a loss to Hokutoriki, used a series of powerful arm thrusts in the day's final bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena to send Takamisakari over the edge.

Asashoryu, who experienced pain on his right side as he left the ring, improved to 6-1 in the 15-day meet. No. 14 maegashira Takamisakari was handed his fifth loss against a pair of wins.

The Mongolian grappler is one win off the pace along with Wakanosato, Kokkai and rank-and-filers Funteno and Kinkaiyama.

In an earlier bout, Hokutoriki used the same right-arm thrust that he deployed against Asashoryu to send Kotonowaka tumbling out.

Looking full of confidence after his big win over Asashoryu, top maegashira Hokutoriki wasted little time in dispatching the towering Kotonowaka to remain perfect at 7-0. No. 5 maegashira Kotonowaka fell to 3-4.

In other major bouts, Sekiwake Wakanosato remained one win behind Hokutoriki at 6-1 when he used a perfectly executed arm throw to send second-ranked Asasekiryu to his sixth loss.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai bounced back from three straight losses when he used his trademark arm thrusts to overpower No. 3 maegashira Shimotori. Chiyotaikai improved to 4-3 while Shimotori dropped to 3-4.

Struggling ozeki Musoyama was handed his fourth loss of the tourney when he was forced over the edge by sekiwake Kyokutenho, who improved to 2-5.

Ozeki Kaio restored a little ozeki pride when he overwhelmed fourth-ranked Tokitsuumi at the face off to give both wrestlers a 5-2 record.

Elsewhere, No. 12 maegashira Jumonji improved to 4-3 after he shoved out Kinkaiyama to hand the No. 13 maegashira his first loss of the tournament.

Georgian-born Kokkai, a No. 7 maegashira, remained in the hunt at 6-1 when he tripped up No. 9 maegashira Tosanoumi, who fell to 4-3.

In a battle of maegashira, Mongolian Kyokushuzan (3-4) used a textbook arm throw to send Dejima (1-6) tumbling to the dirt surface.

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